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Younis, Azhar stonewall Aussies as storm hits Gabba

Younis Khan and Azhar Ali batted through the first session as Pakistan stonewalled Australia’s push for victory on the fourth day of the day-night first Test at the Gabba on Sunday.

The pair got through the opening two hours of play as a storm sent the players from the field just before tea.

At the interval, Pakistan ─ chasing an improbable 490 runs to win over two days ─ were 131 for two. Azhar was unbeaten on 61 with veteran Younis not out on 40.

Younis took 20 balls to get off the mark with a streaky shot through the slips cordon to the boundary. But a reverse sweep off spinner Nathan Lyon to the unguarded boundary to get to 23 showed he was gaining in confidence after a watchful start.

Azhar could have been caught off his glove when on 48 as he attempted a sweep off Lyon, but the ball hit wicketkeeper Matthew Wade’s wrist and bounced away to safety.

Azhar reached his painstaking half-century off 146 balls in 233 minutes.

Australia have yet to lose at the Gabba in 27 Tests stretching back to 1988.

The highest winning run chase in the fourth innings at the Gabba stands at 236 for seven by Australia against the West Indies in 1951.

But Pakistan will have to go well beyond the record highest-ever Test run chase of 418 for seven set by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003.

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